The Thought Transmitter - by John Cornelius

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The Thought Transmitter - by John Cornelius

Postby seige » Jun 3rd, '03, 09:54



Thought Transmitter - by John Cornelius
Price: around £37.95 from emagictricks.co.uk
http://www.emagictricks.co.uk/product_i ... ts_id=2219

Difficulty: 2/5
(1=great for begicians, 2=No sleights, but not so easy, 3=Some sleights used,
4=Advanced sleights used, 5=Suitable for experienced magicians only)


Description
A small black wallet-style jotting pad - about the size of a regular card wallet - with a notepad inside and a 'symbols' card in a plastic pocket on the outside top. Can be used to read spectators thoughts, or to magically influence their thoughts. The wallet can also be used as a shiner.

(example of performance)
The spectator is handed a pen and the notepad. The magi walks away and turns his back. They're asked to open the notepad and think of a symbol, number or word, and write it down inside the wallet. Then, they close the wallet, secure it with an elastic band, and the magi returns. He shows them the 'influence' card which was stuck on the back of the wallet, and explains that they could have drawn anything.
The magi takes another piece of paper and draws a small 'smiley' on it... which freaks the spectator out - because that's exactly what they drew inside the wallet!

Review
John Cornelius - who's he? Well, he's responsible for probably more magic than you'll think... He's been a consultant to Siegfried and Roy & David Copperfield, and he's a performer and teacher, travelling the World, winning accolades such as World Champion for close-up card magic, and World Champion for card magic - plus numerous creativity awards.

You've all heard of the Bendable Pen, Pen Thru Anything and the Perfect Pen??? What about the Muscle Pass - where a coin 'falls up' out of your hand? And have you ever heard of the 'Every Card Trick in the World in Ten Minutes' routine?

That's John Cornelius - FISM prize winner, and IBM Creativity Award winner - 3 times! His magic is close up and personal, and his effects are pure creative genius.

The Thought Transmitter was one of those must-have devices... I saw one being used at a small gathering in Spain, where a young American guy was freaking people out with mentalism effects. As I strolled over, I saw him do a routine with the Thought Transmitter - and I was blown away. I've seen 'peeking' devices before, but this was something really different - totally black and opaque, small, flat - no way could he have peeked inside.

When mine arrived, I was greeted by a small gold covered box containing the device. At this point, it must be said, I had no idea how this effect was done - and when I read the accompanying literature, a cold shiver ran down my spine... I picked up the wallet - drew a picture, and worked the gimmick - awesome.

I'd created myself a routine within 10 minutes, and I'd performed it within half an hour to 3 people. Each was more stunned than the last - they were looking so hard to try and work it out, but to no avail. This is seriously good, I thought.

The quality of the goods is a bit iffy - there are improvements which could invariably be made, but all in all, perhaps I'm being picky, as the device works ALL the time, EVERY time. It can be repeated over and over and over - even to the same crowd. It's almost perfect.

My main concern is that although this is quite obviously a note-pad, the spectator is required to write or draw on a small post-it note stuck onto the pad... seems a bit illogical, but curiously, no one's questioned it. And it's a bit lumpy... it could have been made flatter, I think. Some Seige modifications in the future, perhaps?

But then again - the actual mechanics of this device are something which could not have been done 10 years ago, and the device is said to use 'space-age' technology.
Ahem... I've read about similar devices being in existence for some time, but I agree that the neat, compact appearance and sheer portability and innocence of the lovely little gimmick seem to outweigh the poor quality by some degree.


Overall
If you are into mentalism in any way, you'll love this. There's no sliding doors, no holes, no flaps, no see-through bits - quite literally, something is drawn inside, the wallet is closed, and yet you can 'see' whatever it is quite clearly.

What more do you want???

Rating: Effect/item: 10/10, Quality of goods: 8/10, Value for money: 10/10

The bottom line...
This can be performed by a beginner, but the actual effect itself needs to be done by someone with experience of patter and misdirection - hence the '2' difficulty rating. I think the 'gaff would be blown' by a begician, although there's absolutely nothing complicated about the actual performance.

Near £40 is a lot of money for this gimmick - but if you consider that used casually, it could be a reputation maker, then perhaps that's not such a big price to pay after all. The gimmick is said to last for hundreds of performances, but 'refills' are available.

The secret AND the gimmick together are certainly worth the money, in my opinion, and this has gotten some of the strongest reactions I've had. It's a break from card magic, too, as cards are normally the centrepiece of many of my own mentalism routines.

This device makes you an instant mindreader. That's the bottom line.

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Postby nickj » Jun 3rd, '03, 11:34

I think I know how this works, but does it actually look like a note pad? I would have thought there would be something about the cover that would have given away that it is not entirely right?

Cogito, ergo sum.
Cogito sumere potum alterum.
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Postby seige » Jun 3rd, '03, 11:38

Theres' nothing odd about the cover. It's a perfectly passable 'note pad in wallet' style gimmick.

The whole thing is examinable, and can even be opened up and held up to the light, if that's what you're driving at. The real work done here is pretty clever.

The only time I'd 'sweat' when handing this out is to kids - because they're a little too suspicious... but even when I received this, I checked it out and couldn't find the working straight away.

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Postby nickj » Jun 3rd, '03, 12:31

That's what I meant, I thought that there must have been something funny about the cover, but it is obviously very good. Do you think that curious kids might spot the spot so to speak?

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Postby seige » Jun 3rd, '03, 13:39

No. There's nothing really that the cover can give away... but there's quite a delicate part to this gimmick which would not hold up to heavy-handed kid's inspections.

There's nothing 'optically' that sticks out like a sore thumb. You really can hold the wallet up to a bright light - there's no holes to peep through.

Then again, if you perform correctly, no one knows what's going to happen anyway - so they've no reason to be suspicious enough to do a thorough inspection.

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Postby Mandrake » Jun 17th, '03, 16:58

If anyone still has doubts about this one, just forget them. As Seige says, it all works very easily and casually. All you have to do is play the part of the magician and the result will be electric.

There are probably hundreds of routines which can use this item and your imagination is the only limit. Yes, it's expensive and I understand that it's available at a lower price now than the figure I paid in January ( :evil: Grrrrr!).

Simple mentalism and advanced magic divinations are all within the scope of this little baby - save up your pennies or put it on your Birthday/Christmas prezzie list!

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Postby Cliff » Jun 17th, '03, 17:20

I'd never tried any mentalism effect before and only bought this after reading everyones comments

Well all i can say is that it was well worth it - easy to use - extremely strong effect

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Postby seige » Jun 19th, '03, 10:25

I can't recommend this enough.

It sounds far too good to be true, I know - but there really is NO WAY that a layman (or laywoman - or perhaps just layperson) could figure this out.

Granted, with similar 3-fold 'peeking' wallets, it's quite easy to guess how it's done - but this one really is quite invisible.

The drawing is VERY visible without opening the wallet in any way, and yet the wallet is clearly shown to be closed and handled in that way the whole time.

Don't doubt this one. It's expensive, but so petrol. But there's no real alternative to that yet, either. :wink:

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Postby daleshrimpton » Jun 19th, '03, 12:31

My main concern is that although this is quite obviously a note-pad, the spectator is required to write or draw on a small post-it note stuck onto the pad... seems a bit illogical, but curiously, no one's questioned it. And it's a bit lumpy... it could have been made flatter, I think. Some Seige modifications in the future, perhaps?



post it note?
I have had one for years and never had to use anything onther than the wallet. I can see that you might use a post it note if you dont use a dry wipe pen, but the you- know-what 2wouldnt be as effective through a post it note.
By the way, as i have said, i have had mine for years, ( almost as long as it has existed in fact!) and the thing has never had to have a new re-fill.
Its a shame that more people are using this nowadays, because at one time i was the only one within a 20 mile radius regualy doing it.
My handling getting the odd top magician who saw it, making very favorable comments indeed.

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Postby seige » Jun 19th, '03, 12:42

The actual handling describes the use of a post it pad, and mentions not the usage of dry wipe markers.

The whole thing must have been updated since your version, as the thought of using a dry wipe marker on a PAPER note pad defies the usage of a pad in the first place.

The other benefit of using a small sized post it pad that it focusses the spectator to draw in the desired area.

Hmmm... dry wipe marker???

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Postby jabba01 » Jun 19th, '03, 14:01

I have just bought from the states based onthese comments. I also went to International Magic and they gave me a very impressive demo.

Hope it is worth it.

Jabs

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Postby Mandrake » Jun 19th, '03, 14:13

Like most other items, Jabs, it all depends on what you make of it & do with it!

My Transmitter instructions refer to the use of Post-It notes and suggest that the larger ones be cut down to economically provide small ones. This helps with the location of whatever word/card is to be devined but larger Notes can be used - just draw an oval or circle of the appropriate size and ask the spec to write within it. My preference is to draw a picture of Professor Egghead who is just an oval with eyes, nose, mouth drawn on but he has a large, bald head (a bit like me, really!) and I ask the spec to write their choice on his forehead to place it 'in his mind'. It all helps!

If anyone's followed the link to the Deep Astonishment Tips website, you'll see that Thought Transmitter can be used in conjunction with that routine as well.

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Postby seige » Jun 19th, '03, 14:28

Mandrake:
Thanks for clarifying that I'm not going insane by using post-it's...
In fairness to Dale, I would imagine something has changed in the routine - as my version could not possibly be used with a dry-wipe pen - and post-it's work absolutely fine, even a couple of them.

Jabs:
Take our word for it: it's great. This is one of those effects that simply CAN'T be explained. You'll love it to bits.

The tip for the Deep Astonishment effect is a good one (well done Mandrake), but it can also be used for numerous other effects.

Also, I'm in the process of modifying mine so that the actual pad inside the wallet CAN be used, and LOOKS AND FEELS like a real pad of paper.

It looks like it will work, and costs (as Paul Daniels would say) 'not a lot'.

If it's a screaming success, I'll put the instructions in the MO section.

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Postby Mandrake » Jun 19th, '03, 14:55

Er, to be honest, you probably are going insane but not necessarily through using Post-Its! The value of using a Post-It or something similar is that you control (and in my case I use that word very loosely) the location of the details of the word/card/whatever and you can give the note out as a souvenir or something at the end rather than chuck it in the bin.

I like the idea of using the existing pad as this may be the one slightly weak area - why use a Post-It when there's a perfectly good pad in there as well? So far this has never reared it's ugly head so I guess it's a bit like using a TT - something the performer is aware of but nobody else.

I certainly look forward to details of the modification - can you also work on changing the plain paper in my wallet into things which look, feel, smell, taste, and actually are real ten pound notes please? :D

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Postby jabba01 » Jun 19th, '03, 15:22

Cheers guys for the additional info. Siege please send the details of the Mod when you have completed it.

BTW guys in International Magic used a Post It but he said you could use a Dry Marker but didn't want to as it was a trick that he was selling and not for demo.

J

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